Many people wonder if the famous weatherman Al Roker is related to the late actress Roxie Roker, who played Helen Willis on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. The answer is yes, but not very closely. Here’s what you need to know about their family connection and their remarkable careers.
Who is Al Roker?
Al Roker is a well-known television personality who has been the weather anchor for NBC’s Today show since 1996. He also hosts the third hour of Today, called Today with Hoda & Jenna, and occasionally fills in as a co-host or anchor for other NBC shows. He has also written several books, including memoirs, cookbooks, and children’s books.
Al Roker was born on August 20, 1954, in Queens, New York. His parents were Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., a bus driver, and Isabel Roker, a homemaker. He has five siblings: Christopher, Alisa, Craig, Lisa, and Alicia. He graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego with a degree in communications.
Who is Roxie Roker?
Roxie Roker was an actress who became famous for her role as Helen Willis on The Jeffersons, a spin-off of All in the Family. She played the wife of Tom Willis (Franklin Cover), a white man, and they were the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime-time television. The show ran from 1975 to 1985 and was one of the most popular sitcoms of its time.
Roxie Roker was born on August 28, 1929, in Miami, Florida. Her parents were Albert Roker, a porter from the Bahamas, and Bessie Roker (née Mitchell), a domestic worker from Georgia. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she studied drama. She began her professional career with the Negro Ensemble Company and became a successful stage actress. She won an Obie Award in 1974 and was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Mattie Williams in The River Niger.
She also had roles in other television shows and movies, such as Roots, Claudine, Punky Brewster, A Different World, Murder, She Wrote, and The Love Boat. She was also a reporter and host for WNEW-TV in New York and a children’s advocate who was cited by the city of Los Angeles for her community work.
She married Sy Kravitz, a television producer, in 1962. They had a son, Lenny Kravitz (born May 26, 1964), who became a famous rock musician and actor. They divorced in 1985. She died of breast cancer on December 2, 1995, at the age of 66.
Al Roker and Roxie Roker are second cousins once removed. This means that they share a common ancestor who is their great-grandparent. In this case, that ancestor is Albert Roker Sr., who was the grandfather of Al Roker Sr. and the father of Albert Roker Jr., Roxie Roker’s father.
According to Wikipedia, Al Roker discovered his relation to Roxie Roker when he was researching his family history for a segment on Today. He also learned that he had ancestors who were slaves in South Carolina and Georgia.
Al Roker has expressed his admiration for Roxie Roker and her groundbreaking role on The Jeffersons. He has also said that he is proud of his cousin Lenny Kravitz and his granddaughter Zoë Kravitz, who are both successful artists in their own right.
Al Roker and Roxie Roker are distant relatives who share a common ancestor from the Bahamas. They both have had impressive careers in television and entertainment. They both have also made history by breaking racial barriers and inspiring millions of viewers.